Warning that violence will never bring peace, Pope Francis urged all sides to do all they can to foster dialogue in the Middle East.
“I am very worried about the intensifying tensions in the Holy Land and the Middle East and about the spiral of violence that increasingly leads away from the path of peace, dialogue and negotiations,” he said in an appeal during his general audience in St Peter’s Square on 16th May.
The Associated Press reported that on 14th May, the same day the United States was inaugurating its embassy in Jerusalem, Israeli forces shot and killed 57 Palestinians and injured more than 2,700 people during mass protests along the Gaza border. In addition, a baby died from tear gas inhalation, the Gaza Health Ministry said, bringing the death toll to 58.
Expressing his sadness for those killed and injured, and prayers for all who are suffering, the pope underlined that violence is never of any use for bringing peace.
“War is called war, violence is called violence,” he said.
Picture: A relative mourns during the funeral of eight-month-old Palestinian Laila al-Ghandour, who died after inhaling tear gas at the Israel-Gaza border during a 15th May protest against the US embassy move to Jerusalem. (CNS photo/Mohammed Salem, Reuters).